Today is May 27.
Norma Egstrom, better known as jazz singer Peggy Lee, was born this day in 1920 in Jamestown, N.D. She died earlier this year.
Alto saxophonist Bud Shank, for decades a fixture on the West Coast jazz scene, was born this day in 1926 in Dayton, Ohio. He moved to California shortly after college in the 1940s, where he became a regular member of the Lighthouse All-Stars.
Clarinetist and saxophonist Albert Nicholas, a onetime member of King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators, was born this day in New Orleans in 1900. He died in Switzerland in 1973, after spending 20 years in Europe as a soloist.
Pianist Ramsey Lewis was born this day in 1935 in Chicago. He formed his first trio in 1956. Its 1965 album "The In Crowd" sold more than a million copies and brought a Grammy for the best small group jazz recording of the year.
Bass player Nils-Henning Orsted Pedersen was born this day in Orsted, Denmark, in 1946. In the early 1960s, he was offered but unable to take a gig with the Count Basie Orchestra at age 17. In the mid-1970s, he became a regular member of Oscar Peterson's trio, an association that continues.
Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba was born this day in 1963 in Havana. His career skyrocketed in attention when he was denied a travel visa to the United States in the late 1980s. He now tours the United States at will, having established residencies in the Dominican Republic and Miami.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... for the next five nights, Jazz at Lincoln Center celebrates the music of drummer James Black, whose music remains largely unknown outside of his native New Orleans. Wynton Marsalis and his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, join other native New Orleanians Victor Goines, Reginald Veal and Herlin Riley. These five nights of Black's music will close out J@LC's "Year of the Drum" celebration. Thursday night's concert will be carried live on PBS stations around the country on the popular program "Live From Lincoln Center," hosted by Beverly Sills and Ed Bradley.
The Lou Donaldson quartet is the Village Vanguard through Sunday. The Cyrus Chestnut trio is at the Jazz Standard. Singer Michael Bublé makes his New York City debut this week at the Blue Note. Drummer Billy Cobham's New Spectrum Band is at Iridium through Sunday. The Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Mercer Ellington and Jack Jeffers is at Birdland tonight. The Miles Griffith quartet is at the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday. DJ Logic is at Southpaw in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood with the Charlie Hunter trio as part of Ropeadope records' "What Is Jazz?" series.
In the Boston area... Bob Kaufman, Bruce Gertz and Jerry Bergonzi are at the Acton Jazz Café on Tuesdays. The Peter Cicco band is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight. The Steve Turre quintet is at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight and Wednesday.
The Giga Shane trio is at Chris's Jazz Café in Philadelphia tonight.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. Department of State, now engaged in the sixth year of their cooperative "Jazz Ambassadors" project, continue their Millennium Stage concerts in Washington, D.C., tonight with Bob Albanese and Café Simpatico.
Saxophonist Scott Hamilton is at Nighttown in Cleveland tonight.
In Chicago... the Buster Williams quartet is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Men of Note are at Andy's tonight. Bobby Lewis is at the Backroom. Bobby Broom's Deep Blue Organ Trio is at the Green Mill tonight. Ken Cheney is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan are at Katerina's. Von Freeman and Friends are at the New Apartment Lounge on Tuesdays.
The Marc Pompe trio is at the 100 South Chop House in Elmhurst tonight. The Ron Perrillo trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight. Marshall Vente is at Philander's in Oak Park. Savoir Faire is at Pops for Champagne tonight. The Taku Akiyama quartet is at Smoke Daddy. The Kimberly Gordon quartet is at the Underground Wonder Bar tonight.
In New Orleans... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Jimmy Moliere and Fred Sheppard are at the Circle Bar. Steve Yokum and The Catahoulas are at Fritzel's. The Funkin' Horns and Jua Ferdinand are at the Funky Butt tonight. Mark Braud is at Harrah's.
The ReBirth Brass Band is at the Maple Leaf. Greg Stafford leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Rob Wagner trio is at the Seaport Café. Maurice Brown is at Snug Harbor tonight. Linzzi Zaorski and Delta Royale and Sol del Pantano are at the Spotted Cat.
On the California jazz scene... trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos is at the Onyx Room in San Diego on Tuesday nights. The Martial Solal trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Cathy Segal-Garcia quartet is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.
This is John Pisano's Guitar Night with Tim May at Spazio in Sherman Oaks tonight. Saxophonist Benn Clatworthy's quartet is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. Russell Gunn and Ethnomusicology are at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight and Wednesday.
Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle through Sunday.
On the recording front...
The Yellowjackets -- keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip, tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer and drummer Marcus Baylor -- are out today with their latest release. "Times Squared" on the Head's Up label is the quartet's first studio recording in five years. It follows their 2001 Grammy-nominated self-release "Mint Jam."
The Chicago-based independent label 482 Music has released Montreal-based drummer Michel Lambert's latest recording, "Out Twice." Sponsored in part by the Canada Council, this recording consists of 11 spontaneously improvised pieces using Lambert drawings as graphic scores. Each seeks to combine visual and musical expression into a single, cohesive language. "Out Twice" was conceived as a combination of Lambert's two loves, the artwork he has created since he was a child and work in formal music composition and improvisation. The drawings are on display in the CD booklet and at 482music.com/outtwice/.
The Ken Clark Organ Trio has released "Eternal Funk" on Severn Records today. Its 10 tunes are a mix of originals and covers. Clark's bandmates are guitarist Mike Mele and drummer Steve Chaggaris. His organ playing ranges from jump blues to gospel to bebop.
Another B-3 jazz and blues organ veteran, Ron Levy, is out with the latest CD by his Wild Kingdom band. "Green Eyed Soul" features Levy with Jeff Lockhart, Yahuba Garcia and Warren Grant. It's on his own Levtron label.